KSFH Psychology Team Visits Bahanaga Train Accident Site

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The faculty members from the Department of Psychology, KIIT School of Social, Financial, and Human Sciences (KSFH), including Dr. Girija Shankar Panigrahi, Dr. Syed Firoz Ali, Dr. S. Soma Parija, and Ms. Kalyani Biswal, visited Bahanaga in Balasore district, the site of recent tragic train accident, on 10th July, 2023.

The primary objective of this visit was to gather firsthand information about the strategies implemented by the local community to manage the aftermath of the accident. The team engaged in discussions with the local residents who were the first responders in assisting the victims. Following the accident, the locals promptly informed nearby emergency services and took immediate action to aid the victims, without waiting for emergency services to arrive. They shared their experiences, detailing the actions they took from the moment the accident occurred. This included providing water, rescuing passengers from the damaged compartments, offering medical assistance, arranging transportation to nearby hospitals via ambulances, and temporarily preserving the deceased individuals at a nearby school and hospital.

The team engaged with four main groups during their visit: the local residents, teachers, students, and parents. The local residents reported experiencing post-accident trauma, such as sleep disturbances and feelings of fear. To address these issues, they had organized several destressing and calming activities.

The team also visited the local school where the deceased individuals were temporarily kept. The headmistress of the concerned school shared her experience of how the bodies were brought in and kept at the school for approximately 48-72 hours before being taken to different hospitals or claimed by relatives. She also described the impact of the incident on the students’ emotions. In the days following the accident, the children were fearful and reluctant to attend school.

Many recreational activities are being organized by different organizations on the weekends for the well being of the students. The Psychology team from KSFH assured the school headmistress of providing any necessary psychological support to the students. The entire visit served as an eye-opener, providing a genuine understanding of the experiences faced during such a tragic incident.       

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